Contact Us
25 January 2019
Documentary honours the mothers of the nation
A documentary film launched in December, titled uMama: Recollections of South African Mothers and Grandmothers, lauds the influential roles mothers and grandmothers played in shaping the values of several prominent South Africans. The film has been well received at selected viewings, most recently at the Nelson Mandela Foundation in Johannesburg.

The documentary is the brainchild of UWC alumna and Professor Marion Keim, the Director of UWC’s Interdisciplinary Centre for Sport Science and Development. It is based on the book uMama which was compiled by Prof Keim. The book features 40 South African leaders and was published by Random House in 2009. The production of the documentary was supported by the National Lotteries Commission and the launch was supported by the Western Cape Department for Cultural Affairs and Sport, the Centre for the Book and the Iziko South African Museum in Cape Town, and the Nelson Mandela Foundation in Johannesburg.

“The stories in uMama are about women, mothers and grandmothers who continuously sow but often are unable to reap, who give but do not always receive, and who pray but are often not prayed for, and they are about us, their children and grandchildren,” Prof Keim says.

“The documentary challenges us to reflect on how committed we are to the values of love, respect, compassion, diversity and human dignity. The powerful stories captured in uMama of mothers and their courage, endurance and the triumph of love are an inspiration to us all. They show us the importance of defining our values and nurturing them in our children.”

Among those featured in the film are Nelson Mandela, Archbishop Tutu, Ahmed Kathrada, Judge Albie Sachs, Sibongile Khumalo, Yvonne Chaka-Chaka, Helen Suzman, Thandeka Tutu-Gxashe, Zakes Mda, Elana Meyer, Mangosuthu Buthelezi, Diana Ferrus and Chris Chameleon, who share the values and insights of their mothers.

The documentary is being distributed to communities and schools and a variety of stakeholders as a resource to use in promoting values and the roles of women, mothers and families. Special screenings of the film have been organised in New York in April, for Mother’s Day in May, Mandela Day in July, the World Conference on Women and Sport in Botswana and the 5th Conference for Sport and Peace in Cape Town in September.‚Äč